The official definition is vaping is “the action of inhaling and exhaling the vapor produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device”; and it is essentially exactly that. To make it seem less complicated, it’s basically using an electronic cigarette or vaporizer in the same way that you would use a normal cigarette, except when you’re using a vaporizer it’s called vaping instead of smoking.
Vaping has actually been “a thing” since the 1980’s when the vaporizer was first invented, but it did not become a popular device to use until much later in the 2000s. Many argue that the fact that vaping didn’t really take off when it was first invented was due to big tobacco companies stepping in and creating mischief. Whether this is true or not, no one can say for sure, but many people see this as the most probable cause of its slow rise in popularity.
Thankfully, now we have many different kinds of vaporizers, and they come in different shapes, sizes, designs, and colors; and we all get an extremely wide selection of vaporizers to choose from when we are considering vaping as a good option. But have you ever wondered how vaporizers work, and why they are considered better than cigarettes? Well, in this blog, I’d like to explain to you exactly how vaporizers work in hopes to help you become a vaporizer expert!
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What is a Vaporizer?
A vaporizer is defined as an electronic device which generates a substance into vapor, and can be used medically or recreationally. These days, using a vaporizer recreationally is most popular, as many people have been known to use vaporizers in place of cigarettes in order to stop smoking, since e-liquids can come with different nicotine levels, and people can gradually decrease the amount of nicotine they vape, subsequently getting rid of the addiction altogether.
But many people still wonder exactly how a vaporizer works, and for that reason, I have compiled some of the basic and most essential parts about how a vaporizer works, which I hope will help you understand more about how vaporizers work:
First of all, one of the most important aspects about a vaporizer is its heating method, for that is what makes the device actually produce vapor, and what essentially gives the device its purpose. You will see that vaporizers either heat the product by conduction heating or convection heating, or even a mix of both.
Conduction heating systems are some of the most common, and it means that the product to be vaporized comes in direct contact with the heating device (usually a hot plate heated through the use of a battery), and is vaporized upon contact.
Conduction heating systems are most popular in herb vaporizers and some oil vaporizers, for then the product is “chunkier” or more of a solid like plant matter, many see it more fit to use a conduction heating system thanks to its direct contact with the product.
In my opinion, conduction heating has its pros and cons. The biggest pro to conduction heating is that since the product does come in direct contact with the heating device, there is an instant vaporization, and the wait seems to be much shorter than with convection heating. The most prominent con, in my opinion, is the fact that if the product is not fine enough, one does have to give it a stir every once in a while so that all of the product gets in contact with the heating device, and not just the one side; not to mention, the cleaning can get to be a bit of a hassle sometimes.
Convection heating is also popular, but has only recently been used as a more prominent heating method in vaporizers; especially for herb vaporizers. Convection heating operates almost the same as a small oven, in the sense that there is no direct contact with the heat source, and instead there is heat coming from all directions practically baking the product in the chamber.
Convection heating is achieved through airflow, which is the most important aspect of this type of heating method, and therefore the airflow in the device is absolute key to making it all work smoothly and seamlessly.
Basically, the battery heats up a hot plate or something similar, and air which is being sucked through the device goes passed this hot spot and it heats up instantaneously. Then, this hot air flows to the product in its chamber, heats the product up to a very high temperature, vaporizes it, and sends it through the vaporizer’s delivery system.
Like conduction heating, convection heating also has its pros and cons in my opinion. The first pro that comes to mind when I think about convection heating is the fact that I feel like when all the product is heated up at the same time, like in a little oven, it is more efficient and like more product will be vaporized at once. The most prevalent con for convection heating is the waiting time, for I do feel like I have to wait more time for the vaporizer to heat up and do its job, but the difference between this and conduction heating devices is slight, and I wouldn’t consider the wait a major inconvenience at all.
Vaporizer Temperatures and Heat Settings
Most vaporizer devices these days offer users the ability to control the temperatures at which they vape, and therefore allow much more control over each vaping session. The temperature at which one vapes actually has a major impact on the vapori quality itself, the taste of the vapor, and naturally the heat of the vapor. Therefore, knowing what heat settings are best for you or for the product which you are vaping is pretty essential.
As there are many different types of vaporizers, there are also many different types of temperature setting formats, and many ways in which one can change the heat settings on their devices:
Pre-Set Temperature Settings
For optimal convenience and ease of use, many vaporizers come complete with pre-set temperatures. These allow people to easily switch between temperatures which have been pre-set, and makes choosing a temperature easy and quick.
Many people love the ease and convenience that this types of heat setting offer. Additionally, many vaporizer companies put a lot of research into these temperature settings, and offer 3-5 temperatures which they have found to be the most optimal for vaping, ensuring a great experience every time you vape.
There is, of course, a downside to these preset temperatures; and that is the fact that more times than not, these preset temperatures can’t be modified. This means that if you would prefer to vape at higher or lower temperatures than those which are offered, you are going to either make due, or get a vaporizer which offers those temperatures.
Customizable Temperature Settings
As their name suggest, these types of temperature controls or settings can be customized, usually in one degree increments, and many different vaporizers are opting for this type of temperature setting because it allows users to pinpoint the exact temperatures at which they would like to vape.
Of course, all vaporizers have a minimum temperature, which is usually 0 degrees for these types of heat settings; and a maximum temperature which usually ranges between 350 degrees Fahrenheit and 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
This is due to the fact that all substances have a boiling point, and to vaporize something, there must be a fine balance between boiling and actually vaporizing a product. Therefore, this is much more precise than one might think. There is also what is called a “sweet spot” for every type of product (concentrates, dry herb, or e-liquid), and staying within that will ensure that you have the best vaping experience of all.
Build and Materials
The design and build of a vaporizer is pretty simple, for it generally only needs a few things to be called a vaporizer: a battery or energy source, a heating system, and a chamber where the product goes. Of course, if a vaporizer only had this, it would look like one of my mechanics projects from 7th grade; so many vaporizers have a few more things which add uniqueness, ease of use, and protection to the device.
A standard vaporizer has one battery, a heating system, a chamber where the materials to be vaporized goes, a mouthpiece, a power button, and some have heat control buttons as well. Of course, they also need some type of charging connection, which is usually a universal port which can be connected through USB to an outlet or otherwise.
The build and design is also important for purposes such as appeal, protection, and handling; so you will find many different types of designs and models, some desktop vaporizers and some portable vaporizers, and all you have to do is read a little about each one and find the perfect one for you.
Amongst all the different types of vaporizers there are definitely a few which you will like, and I trust that you will find the perfect one for you, especially now that you know all that there is to know when it comes to how a vaporizer works and what the most essential parts are which form a vaporizer.